Emanuel picks Eddie Johnson as Chicago’s interim police superintendent

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CHICAGO -- City Hall sources have confirmed to WGN-TV that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to name current Chicago Police Department Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson as his pick to be the next superintendent of the department.

Johnson is a 27-year veteran with the Chicago Police Department, who once commanded the Gresham District on the south side.

The surprise move was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson was not on the list of three finalists presented to Emanuel by the Police Board he appointed.

Legally, Emanuel has to pick one of the finalists. Instead, City Hall sources confirm Emanuel will formally reject the three candidates from the Police Board and ask them to re-open the search.

At the same time, Emanuel is expected to name Johnson to the post on an interim basis, replacing current Interim Superintendent John Escalante.

Johnson is then expected to formally apply for the superintendent's position, with the hope he will be named one of the three new finalists from the Police Board.

Mayor Emanuel's office released the following statement Sunday morning:

"The Mayor's choice for the next superintendent will be one of the most important decisions he makes. He has spent the past three and a half months talking to police officers, community leaders, residents and law enforcement experts about the leader our city needs right now as we work to lift morale at CPD, fight crime, and restore trust in the department. He factored their thoughts and input into his decision, which he will announce in the coming days."

The Chicago Police Department has been without a superintendent since December, when Garry McCarthy was forced out after dash cam video of a police officer fatally shooting Laquan McDonald was released.